Belt and Road Initiative in South Asia – Pathway to brighter future

“The Belt and Road Initiative is a public road open to all, not a private path owned by one single party.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves a land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and a sea-based 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The BRI aims to build a trade, investment, and infrastructure network connecting Asia with other parts of the world along the ancient Silk Road trade routes and beyond.

Entering its ninth year of solid progress, the BRI has grown into the world’s largest international cooperation platform, with 148 countries and 32 international organizations signing over 200 cooperation agreements with China under the BRI framework as of Feb. 6, 2022.

Children play at the artificial beach in Colombo’s Port City, Sri Lanka, Dec. 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Tang Lu)

Located at the intersection of the China-proposed Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the region of South Asia, the world’s most populous region and accounting for about a quarter of the world’s total population, is one of the critical zones for the BRI. Five South Asian countries have joined the BRI framework, with its various infrastructure footprints, such as the Gwadar Port in Pakistan, already being seen throughout the region.

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